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Old September 19, 2001, 02:41 PM   #1
Dean Speir
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Join Date: September 14, 2000
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To Denny Hansen...

Hi, Denny, been about ten or so years, hasn't it?

I just managed to catch up with the October edition… gunzines are hard to come by on the newsstands here, so this took a determined effort.

Rich, among other things, stated that the reason for this particular Forum was:

  •   To solicit comments and suggestions for S.W.A.T.

So, in that spirit, I have a serious question about your maiden voyage under the new command: content (there's an Internet buzz word for ya!) needs to be accurate and informative, but doesn't it also need to be responsible?

Although I'm pretty much retired from the gunzine game at this point, I know many of those still in it, and have discussed some of these issues with them over the years. Ultimately, I think the "buck" has to stop with the Editor, and in this case, that's you.

Item: writers love to pose with their guns 'n' gear in the most flattering light, but when those poses set a bad example for readers, wouldn't it be incumbent upon the Editor to reject a photo and demand that it be re-shot properly? I know my ol' chum Dep'ty Ed Sanow loves a particular steely-eyed profile of himself (almost as much as one of your predecessors adores a certain 20-year-old series of photos of himself in military cover and wolly-bully sweater when he's demonstrating his prowess with a 1911A1), but where's Ed's eye and ear protection most of the time? Leroy Thompson certainly has it in his range session with the MAT-49 (page 19), as do the team members on page 23, and so does Br'er Sanow on pages 27 and 28… but not Flint Hansen on page 77.

Item: I think the most egregious photo in the October issue is the one accompanying Ed's article on the top left of page 29… can't tell who the model is, but isn't that finger-on-the-trigger-while-activating-the-charge-handle an automatic ND? I don't think I'm mis-reading the position of the fire selector switch, so that's just horrendous all the way around.

People, especially those you are attempting to attract to your re-vitalized publication, will emulate what they see, and when they see things like this, it's bad juju.

Otherwise, an auspicious start… O, sure, you've got a couple of tired ol' hacks on staff, but any list of contributors which includes Louis Awerbuck, Patty Rogers and Clint Smith has that critical element missing from most of the gunzines: credibility. (You might want to figure out a new format for Rogers' articles if they're gonna be so laden with acronyms, however… perhaps a sidebar "key" which would help the information flow of the feature without all the parenthetical comments. )

So, good luck… can't wait to see the next issue.

Dean, jus' visitin' from The Gun Zone
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Old September 19, 2001, 06:53 PM   #2
Denny Hansen
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Hey, Dean,
Yeah, it's probably been at least ten years.

Thanks for your comments and insights. I truly appreciate the feedback. IMHO there's a difference between what is clearly a staged "action shot" and actual shooting, but all your other points are well-taken.

If you are not completly retired from writing, how about submitting something to me? Even if I have'nt always agreed with you on some points, I've always respected your work and I'm always looking for good (and credible) authors.

Denny
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Old September 23, 2001, 09:50 AM   #3
Don Gwinn
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I took that picture as representing a cop on patrol or on-scene somewhere with his trusty shootin' stick. Cops in my small town don't wear eye or ear while working. It's probably a good idea, though. A pair of the electronic ears and a quality set of glasses they could keep in the car and put on if they get a call that looks bad.
I wonder why more places don't do that? They all seem to wear the stuff on the range?
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Old September 23, 2001, 10:21 AM   #4
Spectre
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I will confess I was a bit baffled at some of Pat's lingo.

(To my brother: )

Look- this guy must really know what he's talking about- even I don't know some of these acronyms!
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Old September 23, 2001, 12:02 PM   #5
Pat Rogers
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Jargon

Guys,
I'm a tad busy about now, however...

I work in this business. I am on the inside looking out, not the other way 'round. Every business is complete with jargon. (Geez- look at what computer nerds do!)
That is life.
Acronyms were probably instituted to save typing/ writhing time. So be it.
I can use wussy, common terms to describe certain things, but that would not be consitent with what we do- in fact, it would show a distinct lack of credibility on my part- and i won't do it.
My severest criics are those i work with- and there acceptance is paramount.
Dean has chided me on this before, but then i have chided him for his use of improper nomenclature. I have the utmost respect for ol' Dean, but we see some things differently.

I include an explanation with each acronym used, and while it may be distracting to purists, it is the best i can do.
Of course those who actually do this have no problem understanding what i am saying. For all others, i beg you indulgence, and request that you understand that i ain't writing fluff.
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Old September 23, 2001, 12:17 PM   #6
Spectre
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Aw, shucks, Pat, don't be sore.

I like learning new acronyms! Your point is taken- personally, I considered it a learning opportunity...
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Old September 23, 2001, 10:01 PM   #7
Rich Lucibella
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Dean-
Thanks for the honest insight. I'm real proud of S.W.A.T.....both its Editorial direction and it's look. As you point out, it can be improved.....Heaven help us if we ever get to the point where we stop believing that. We're all working real hard to improve it with every issue; and I firmly believe that the content was far better than the competition, before we took over. Magazines inevitably make mistakes. The question is "How do they respond when called on those mistakes". I already know how Denny intends to respond...see his comment to Jeff.

As to content being "responsible" you are, once again, spot on. But, as has been pointed out, there is nothing wrong with a posed image to demonstrate a point. After all, if all shooting occurred at the range, we wouldn't need a magazine like S.W.A.T., would we?

We thank you for the compliment on the credibilty of guys like Clint, Louie and Pat. I do differ with you on the comments about Pat's writing style, however. He's fast becoming a favorite of our readers, at least as evidenced by my email. So he must be doing something right.

Keep the input coming. An article or two from you would also help to keep us "honest".
Best regards-
Rich
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Old September 24, 2001, 06:32 AM   #8
Bud Helms
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I'd really be interested in a highly technical, cartridge-related column. Not necessarily reloading or gunsmithing, but a column on inherent cartridge (test barrel) performance vs real gun performance. How a real life weapon system delivers the performance potential of a cartridge. Or how it doesn't. Call it the Techno-nerd column. Like the differences between the .40 S&W and the 10 mm.

That column could address the internal, intermediate and terminal ballistic performance differences. It would be of some interest to long rifle shooters. But it may be a subject best left for Precision Shooting. Just an idea.

The mag can't be everything to everyone. After sounding like the mag isn't technical enough, my favorite article in the latest (Nov 01) issue was A. Emerson's Meditations On Handgun Sight Systems. Meditations! Go figure. I loved it. The Springfield's Professional Model 1911, by Walt Rauch was also good. The article on the Colt M4, by Chuck Taylor, is the first "Black Rifle (M16)" article I've read in years. Pretty good. I'm hooked. Great mag. Keep the equipment articles coming. I'll leave the tactics of police work to the pros.
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Old September 24, 2001, 12:23 PM   #9
Denny Hansen
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Sensop-
Thanks for the comments.
As you'll see in the next few issues, we'll be adding some new columns, but at this time won't have any room for the type you suggest. I ran a column titled "Wound Ballistics" several years back. I thought it would be a hit, but turned out to be a flop with our readership who wanted more articles on tactics, equipment and firearms. Additionally, the biggest problem with a column like the one you suggest, is getting an author who has the knowledge, equipment and the ability to convey his thoughts in writing all in one package--not an easy task.
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